Interviews have been the main portion of my last two weeks as we try to fill an opening at my day job. We have reached a growing phase in the business and we are looking to fill a position that would allow more opportunities to be found for the business. Seems simple enough right? WRONG!
We sent out an ad in the local paper and by the end of the second day I had to shut off applications and resumes. And here I had heard that our local economy was returning, but I had almost 100 applications in two days for a person to answer phones and do a little paperwork. I was amazed. So after dwindling that number down to a more manageable number, we held interviews. Oh the joy….
I bring up interviews because as I have sat through these different people all coming in battling over the same job, I think back to my writing. Just like an interview, we all have to be prepared whenever we move to the next step in our writing career. The people who had the best shot at getting the job where those who researched the company in advance. These people showed the initiative to spend their own time researching the company and position to better understand what they were going to be doing, the same way a writer needs to research what agents to send their stories too. If you send your story to the wrong agents, the idea will never get off the ground and you will be stuck in writer unemployment forever. Research is key.
Also don’t guess. We sent out our add with just my e-mail address on it, and yes it is my first initial and last name but a lot of people tried to guess at what my name was and failed miserably. Now unlike some people I know, this didn’t make me throw out the resume right off the bat, but it did make a hurdle that the person would have to overcome right at the start. So in your writing, don’t guess, if you don’t know something, research it. There are times that fiction will allow you to stick in some made up ideas and concepts, but they still need to believable if you ever expect your readers to believe you.
Last but not least, the major quality that I saw that played a factor in a good interview is confidence. The confidence of the speaker could make or break the interview. As the position was for someone to be social and the front of the store as customers walk in, we need someone who will engage the customers and help stifle any waiting time, should they have any. If someone appeared to be unconfident in their interview presentation then that translated as someone who would have confidence issues when it came to meeting customers they did not know. If you are confident in your writing, it will show and it will stand out on the page. Focus on what needs to be done and believe that you can do it. Be confident!
Have you had any situations, interview or writing, that you felt like you could have done more?